This 100%-Rated Crime Drama is a Must-Watch for Fargo Fans (& It's Available for Free in March)

This 100%-Rated Crime Drama is a Must-Watch for Fargo Fans (& It's Available for Free in March)
Image credit: FX, AMC

The police procedural that takes place in the Indian reservation is not a common, but certainly welcome thing.


  • Dark Winds is a TV series from AMC based on the novels by Tony Hillerman.
  • The series follows two Native American cops and is incredibly reminiscent of Fargo.
  • Dark Winds is available for free streaming in March 2024.

In June 2022, AMC premiered Dark Winds, a crime thriller series based on Tony Hillerman's novels about two Navajo cops in the 1970s, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. While there had been previous attempts to adapt the books, this particular series was the most successful, largely due to the fact that the cast and crew were almost entirely Native American. In addition, the executive producers were Anne Hillerman, the author's daughter, the famous actor and filmmaker Robert Redford, and none other than George R. R. Martin.

The result is one of the most fascinating series, which effectively combines elements of noir and psychological thriller, police procedural and western. Why not give Dark Winds a try as it is available to stream for free?

A Series About Native Americans by Native Americans

It may come as a surprise to few, but the series is reminiscent of two other equally popular crime dramas with elements of noir, thriller, a bit of western, and endless psychological wailing. They are Longmire and Fargo — notably, Zahn McClarnon starred in both. Dark Winds offers a very realistic, yet somewhat absurd atmosphere of decadence, crime and deadly greed in picturesque, but unfortunately socially deprived, remote settlements.

What makes the series truly unique, however, is its realistic portrayal of Native Americans, as the experiences of Tony Hillerman (a white writer who has nonetheless made an enormous contribution to the study of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest) were combined with those of the Native American writers' room.

For example, in addition to the Native American cast, Graham Roland is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, and director Chris Eyre is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. There aren't many direct descendants of the Navajo: co-screenwriter Rhiana Yazzie, season one actor Jeremiah Bitsui, and the Navajo Nation elders they worked with, but it's already a much larger, more thoughtful, and respectful representation than any other show or movie in recent years.

In fact, only Martin Scorsese 's recent Killers of the Flower Moon managed to give the people of the Osage Nation the platform they needed. At the same time, the popular Yellowstone trivialized Native American roles with actors falsely claiming to be Cherokee.

Rave Reviews from Critics

As a result, the series has delighted critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics' score for both seasons is a perfect 100%. Many marveled at the quality of the production, the representation of indigenous peoples, the highly successful adaptation of Tony Hillerman's novels, and simply the level of fascination with the story itself. Unfortunately, audiences received the second season a bit more coldly, but few denied that it was just as well done.

Where and How to Watch the Series for Free

Since the main home for the show is AMC, the main streaming service for Dark Winds is AMC+, so technically, to watch the show for free, you have to do some manipulation or turn to other offerings.

AMC+ — Subscriptions start at $4.99 per month for the ad-supported plan and $6.99 for the ad-free plan, but the service offers a seven-day free trial. Considering there are only 12 episodes left in the series, it's possible to binge through it in a week!

Prime Video — A free option is also available for users who prefer to watch the series on more familiar services such as Prime. To do so, you will also need to combine a subscription to the platform from Amazon ($14.99 per month and $7.99 for students) and AMC+ (prices mentioned above), but the former offers a 30-day trial period and the latter, as we said, 7 days.

Apple TV+ — You don't need an AMC+ subscription to watch the show on this streaming service. All you have to do is take advantage of the 7-day free trial.

Hoopla — However, we highly recommend using Hoopla, a free service for library patrons that offers entertainment media products such as literature, audiobooks, and TV series and movies. All you need to access the platform is your library card number.